In the realm of global sustainable development, engineering stands as a crucial pillar, driving innovation and progress. Women, representing half of the world’s population, play a pivotal role in this narrative, bringing diverse perspectives and innovative solutions to the forefront. One such trailblazer in the field is Anastasia Welch, whose contributions at SCS Engineers exemplify the impact women engineers can have on shaping a sustainable future.
With a keen eye for detail and a passion for environmental sustainability, women like Anastasia drive positive change in the waste industry. Here’s her journey, which we hope will inspire you.
Building Professional Experience
As a Vice President/Project Director, Ms. Welch utilizes her civil engineering background to affect solid waste-related projects in numerous states for both municipal and private clients. Throughout her career, Anastasia has focused on solid waste-related solutions ranging from design and compliance to planning. As a solid waste practice leader in the Central Region, Anastasia leverages her experience across the company to bring the appropriate personnel and work efforts to meet clients’ expectations and needs.
This month, she achieved a milestone in her career with her promotion to the Business Unit Director for SCS’ Central Region. She brings technical expertise and a unique perspective that enriches her team’s problem-solving capabilities. By influencing industry standards and promoting responsible environmental practices throughout the firm, her leadership extends beyond the Central Business Unit.
Mrs. Welch enjoys assisting her clients to help them meet their long-term goals. Anastasia is passionate about landfills and the waste systems that serve our communities. As of 2020, she is the Co-Chair of SWANA’s Landfill Re-Branding Committee, focusing on changing how the public views landfills. More recently, she has become much more involved with industrial clients, assisting them with their multimedia permitting and compliance needs.
Anastasia appreciates the details of technical compliance regulations by putting the pieces together, whether for a landfill or an industrial manufacturing facility. She excels by protecting our environment in a responsible way that still allows businesses to thrive.
Her specialty services areas include landfill design, transfer stations, solid waste planning, industrial facilities support, gas, stormwater, and environmental & industrial compliance.
Demonstrating a Passion for Environmental Engineering and Leadership
Anastasia’s dedication to details has proven instrumental in navigating the complex landscape of waste management and landfill design. Women engineers like Anastasia bring a holistic approach to problem-solving, ensuring that solutions are sound and environmentally responsible.
Anastasia’s role as Co-Chair of SWANA’s Landfill Re-Branding Committee exemplifies SCS Engineers’ proactive stance in reshaping industry narratives. By actively working to change public perceptions of landfills, she demonstrates the transformative power of combining technical expertise with effective communication and education.
Publications and Presentations
Anastasia actively contributes to the field through various publications and presentations, showcasing and sharing successful solutions. Noteworthy publications include “Developing a Master Plan for the City of Kirkwood, MO” and “Systematic Pathways to a Sustainable Waste Business.” Her presentations at conferences such as the Global Waste Management Symposium and the Missouri Waste Control Coalition Conference reflect her dedication to knowledge sharing and staying at the forefront of industry trends.
Education and Professional Licenses
Anastasia holds a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Missouri, Columbia, graduating in 2000. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and North Dakota, showcasing her commitment to maintaining high professional standards.
The Transformative Power of Women in Environmental Engineering
Anastasia’s journey is a story of dedication, expertise, and leadership, from her educational background to her technical and managerial experience. Anastasia demonstrates a passion for environmental sustainability and a commitment to excellence.
As we celebrate the achievements of women like Anastasia, we recognize the collective impact women engineers have on achieving sustainable development goals. Their contributions go beyond technical expertise; each brings a fresh perspective, resilience, and a commitment to leaving a positive mark on the world. By fostering inclusivity, encouraging mentorship, and championing diversity, we pave the way for more engineering women to be architects of sustainable progress. The journey of women in engineering and as environmental consultants, exemplified by Anastasia, is a testament to the endless possibilities when talent knows no gender or color.
SCS Engineers is an exciting, challenging, rewarding place to work that is nationally recognized as an industry leader. Join us in supporting businesses and communities throughout North America.
Carbon management often takes a holistic approach, combining one or more environmental solutions. The CO2 experts at SCS Engineers recommend looking at Graphyte’s hybrid technology approach for carbon casting, a new approach to carbon removal that leverages readily available biomass. The solution is backed and incubated by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Here’s how it works…
Learn more about sustainable carbon management, carbon casting, carbon sequestration, and carbon reduction verification.
SCS Engineers announces that the firm’s Board of Directors elected Doug Doerr as President and Chief Executive Officer. James J. Walsh, the current President and CEO, will turn over his responsibilities to Doerr on January 1, 2024.
Doerr, a Senior Vice President, has over three decades of professional engineering experience spanning the firm’s solid waste and environmental services practices. He brings strategic direction and operations experience as SCS’s geographically largest Business Unit Director. Doerr also serves on SCS’s Board of Directors and was one of the founding principals of Aquaterra Environmental Solutions, Inc., which merged with SCS in 2013.
A Professional Engineer in six states, Doerr earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and his Master of Business Administration at the University of Kansas. He serves clients in North America by providing technical expertise, primarily in the solid waste management and utility sectors.
As an engineer and consultant, Doerr prides himself on providing environmental solutions to address clients’ technical and regulatory challenges by understanding the business, economic, and social drivers that frame each challenge. Over his career, he has successfully implemented hundreds of environmental solutions that involve studies, permitting, compliance, and design across multiple market sectors for public and private clients.
“Our deep bench of engineers, scientists, consulting professionals, and environmental technicians are employee-owners who drive SCS as one company, keeping us sustainable for over 50 years. From our client’s perspective, our stability and holistic expertise bring a wealth of resources to achieve their goals,” says Doerr.
Walsh will continue to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors and assist Doerr as he transitions into the CEO role. Walsh also plans to spend more time on technical and client work as an expert witness, an authority on elevated temperature landfills, and an expert in the solid waste industry.
Under Walsh’s 22-year tenure, SCS Engineers and its specialty practices, SCS Field Services, SCS Energy, and SCS Tracer have grown tremendously. Walsh, senior executives, and the Board of Directors feel 2024 is an opportune time for the transition.
“We have a stellar reputation, we’re financially healthy, our Employee Stock Ownership Plan is strong, and we have the next generation of leadership ready to lead the company into the future,” states Walsh.
SCS Engineers’ environmental solutions and technology directly result from our experience and dedication to industries responsible for safeguarding the environment as they deliver essential services and products. SCS Engineers has captured or beneficially used more greenhouse gases than any other environmental engineering firm in the U.S. Please visit our website for a greeting from our CEO elect, or watch our video to see what we can do for your business and community.
This year’s annual Illinois Manufacturers Association Environment and Energy Conference attracted many attendees and presenters from industry, consultants, and regulatory officials. Notable takeaways included a passionate appeal from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to be patient and proactive on permitting issues as the agency expands its workforce to support Illinois manufacturers’ economic growth and expansion plans. IEPA notes that they seek a partnership with industry rather than an antagonistic relationship and strongly support the state’s development while acknowledging they are bound to federal regulations. The more timely, accurate, and clear permit applications can be prepared, the faster the approval process.
Clean Air Act Changes
Major focuses of the IEPA remain on tracking current and proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which currently designate East St. Louis and Chicago areas as non-attainment zones for ozone and portions of Madison County as non-attainment zones for sulfur dioxide. Proposed reductions in the allowable limits for particulate matter (PM) 2.5 micrometers (µg/m³) under the Clean Air Act, which could go into effect at any time, will result in the designation of additional non-attainment areas in Illinois and, accordingly, far greater difficulty in air permitting for new or expanding facilities. The current annual average primary standard for PM 2.5 is 12 µg/m³, whereas the proposed standard will likely fall to between 9-10 µg/m³.
Permitting and Enforcement of NPDES
Presenters also noted that in Illinois, the IEPA issues National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits rather than the USEPA. However, USEPA can still issue enforcement violations. Furthermore, many wastewater treatment plants have pre-treatment effluent requirements for industrial users to address potential pollution problems as part of their NPDES permits. These requirements will become increasingly strict when/if PFAS are declared a hazardous substance under CERCLA.
Extended Producer Responsibility
Another noteworthy topic was the burgeoning practice of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Much like RCRA, which requires cradle-to-grave tracking of hazardous materials, EPR deals with tracking non-hazardous materials, such as packaging, from creation through disposal with the goal of reducing landfill wastes via industry-subsidized source reduction and recycling programs. While Illinois is not currently one of the six states (California, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, New Jersey, and Washington) with mandated EPR or equivalent laws, multiple bills proposed in Illinois and elsewhere would require these types of programs for many market segments. Manufacturers are considering what steps they would need to take if a similar bill passes in Illinois. Particularly noteworthy is that these laws apply to states where products are distributed, not merely produced.
Sustainability and Decarbonization in the Energy Sector
Finally, presenters from various energy companies and consulting firms spoke about the path forward for sustainability and decarbonization in the energy sector, noting that it must combine natural gas, nuclear power, and traditional renewables like wind and solar to meet customer needs. SCS’s very own Dr. Charles Hostetler spoke on carbon capture methods (such as geologic sequestration of carbon in Class VI wells) and other operational strategies of manufacturers, electric utilities, solid waste facility owners/operators, and other property owners/developers to address the evolving landscape of environmental regulations.
Keep close tabs on new legislation and regulation changes to assure compliance and avoid costly fines or operational delays. Partnerships with environmental consultants who have strong, established relationships with federal, state, and local agencies and have their finger on the pulse of the environmental landscape are the best way to accomplish your goals as the regulatory scene changes.
About the Author: Rachel McShane, LEP, has over 15 years of experience in environmental due diligence projects (Phase I, II and III Environmental Site Assessments) as well as Brownfields redevelopment, risk-based corrective action, and remediation projects. She is familiar with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental assessments, vapor investigations and mitigation, radon, asbestos, lead-based paint surveys, and leachate monitoring/solid waste management. Reach Ms. McShane at or via LinkedIn.
Capturing carbon dioxide and injecting it into a Class VI well for permanent geologic (carbon) sequestration, or CO2 storage, is a technology that industry leaders are using to decarbonize manufacturing processes. Utilizing CO2 storage allows manufacturers and industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprints. The complexity of carbon sequestration projects can vary widely depending on your facility’s location.
In this 10-minute educational video, Geologist Kacey Garber describes the benefits and considerations of assessing the feasibility of carbon sequestration before entering the permitting process of a full-scale project. The resulting feasibility study helps develop your facility’s safest and most economical CO2 storage project.
The historical use of other injection well classes demonstrates the utility of injection wells for safe and permanent disposal or sequestration of fluids and GHG. As a result, large areas of the U.S. host viable CO2 storage resources. However, as Kacey explains, never assume that any given location is suitable for a Class VI injection well.
CO2 storage projects are a multi-decade commitment with significant technical, regulatory, and financial complexities. As such, industries must understand the financial impacts of a sequestration project, the regulatory framework, and the geologic suitability for Class VI injection in a given project location.
Injection well technologies have stored fluids and gases below protected drinking water aquifers for over half a century. When properly sited, designed, and operated, injection wells are a safe and responsible environmental management option for industries seeking permanent disposal of liquid and emission byproducts. Using two types of deep injection wells, some with environmental stewardship and federal tax credits available, SCS Engineers explains.
Hydrogeologist and licensed Professional Geologist Stephanie Hill provides a plain language overview of how EPA-approved injection wells work, a simplified graphic to show where injection wells are useful, and the associated costs and time to implement an operational system using Class I wells for deep injection of liquids and Class VI wells for sequestering carbon dioxide.
Byproducts include industrial wastewater or leachates, among others, and, importantly, sequestering carbon dioxide to reduce greenhouse gases. With the rise of transportation costs and water treatment plant restrictions, more industries seek certainty to support business and environmental longevity. Consequently, there is an increasing interest in using injection well systems to manage waste liquids and leachate. The operation of injection wells permanently sequesters industrial byproducts and is a federal and state-preferred technology to protect underground drinking water sources.
SCS Carbon Sequestration and Deep Well Injection team co-leader Stephanie Hill explains how operating an injection well system at your facility may help insulate your business from increasing disposal costs and serves as a responsible environmental management option.
SCS Engineers is thrilled to welcome Carrie Ridley to the Wichita, Kansas, office. Carrie is a licensed professional geologist joining us from the Kansas Geological Survey, where she held Project Manager and Principal Investigator roles for Department of Energy projects. These projects focused on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, and investigation into Critical Minerals.
Prior to that, she spent four years as the Geology and Well Technology Chief within the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. There, she managed the federally designated UIC 1422 program, the Underground Hydrocarbon Storage and Water Well Contractors programs. Prior to UIC work, she worked for six years with the RCRA program in the Bureau of Waste Management as a project manager. Carrie spent ten years with the Kansas Department of Transportation in the Topeka Geology office to begin her career after receiving her MS degree from Kansas State University.
Carrie brings extensive knowledge of state and federal funding, project development, and contracting programs. We are excited to have her join our Deep Well Injection and Carbon Sequestration team.
Monte Markley, our Deep Well and Carbon Sequestration National Expert states, “We are excited to have Carrie join SCS; her extensive knowledge of the UIC universe will benefit our clients and further strengthen our team.”
If you’d like to work with experts such as Carrie Ridley on work to preserve our quality of life – visit SCS.
Taking a Critical Step Towards Net Zero Emissions Using Carbon Sequestration
The picturesque California Delta, often referred to as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, is emerging as a geological sweet spot in California’s ambitious journey toward reaching net zero carbon emissions. Its unique geology presents a compelling case for carbon sequestration, an essential strategy in the battle against climate change. Recent developments, including a collaborative effort between SCS and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) on a Class VI permit application for Pelican Renewables – a company formed by Delta landowners and residents to pursue geologic storage – are indicative of the region’s growing importance in California’s carbon mitigation strategy.
Geological Foundations of Carbon Sequestration in the California Delta
The California Delta, often referred to as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, is a vast inland delta formed by the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and their tributaries as they meet the waters of the San Francisco Bay. Its unique geology makes it an ideal candidate for carbon sequestration:
California’s Net Zero Carbon Goal and Carbon Sequestration in the Delta
California has set an ambitious goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045, a milestone in the fight against climate change. Achieving this objective necessitates reducing emissions and actively removing and storing carbon from the atmosphere. Carbon sequestration in the California Delta can play a pivotal role in this endeavor. The Delta’s geological potential aligns seamlessly with the state’s commitment to sustainable practices and environmental responsibility.
Collaborative Efforts: SCS and LLNL’s Support for Pelican Renewables’ Class VI Permit Application
The collaboration between SCS Engineers and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) that supported geologic characterization, modeling, and CO2 injection simulation for Pelican Renewables’ injection well application underscores the importance of pursuing carbon sequestration in the California Delta. The Class VI permit application underlines Pelican’s commitment to conducting carbon capture and storage (CCS) activities with the highest safety and environmental standards. This initiative is a testament to the growing synergy between scientific research and private enterprise in addressing climate challenges.
References and Further Reading
For a deeper dive into California’s carbon removal options for reaching net zero, “Getting to Neutral” by LLNL is a valuable resource. This publication outlines the various strategies and technologies under research to achieve California’s ambitious carbon reduction goals, including carbon sequestration in regions like the California Delta. The most recent “Scoping Plan” by the California Air Resources Board – the state’s policy blueprint for achieving its climate goals – underscores the need to capture and store CO2 from large sources and the atmosphere.
The California Delta’s geological attributes make it an attractive destination for carbon sequestration, a critical component in California’s mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions. Collaborative endeavors like SCS’s ongoing partnership with LLNL and Pelican Renewables highlight the commitment to responsible carbon capture and storage practices. As we continue to innovate and harness the potential of our natural surroundings, the California Delta’s role in addressing climate change becomes increasingly evident and essential.
Carbon Sequestration Considerations & Resources
About the Author: Gary Vancil is an SCS project director and geologist supporting the environmental firm’s safe carbon sequestration and deep well injection practice. He earned his MS and BS in Geosciences with an emphasis in resource geology at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale. Mr. Vancil’s expertise also covers resource development, extraction, and mining sub-surface investigations for the nation’s largest privately held mining company. If you’d like to learn more or have questions, reach Gary at or LinkedIn.
Millions in FY24 Brownfields Grants Available – Deadline for Submissions is November 13, 2023
EPA anticipates awarding an estimated 60 Community-wide Assessment Grants for an estimated total of $30 million, subject to the quality of applications received, availability of funds, and other applicable considerations.
A Community-wide Assessment Grant is appropriate for communities beginning to address their brownfield challenges and for communities with ongoing efforts to bring sites into productive reuse. The project period for Community-wide Assessment Grants is up to four years.
FY 2024 Technical Assistance to Tribal Nations and Entities Addressing Brownfields Grant $4 million, with a $4 m ceiling, one grant expected
FY 2024 Multipurpose Grants $20 million, with a $1 m ceiling, 20 grants expected
FY 2024 Community-wide Assessment Grants $30 million, with a $.5 m ceiling, 60 grants expected
FY 2024 Assessment Coalition Grants $40 million, with a $1.5 m ceiling, 26 grants expected
FY 2024 Community-wide Assessment Grants for States and Tribes $50 million, with a $2 m ceiling, 25 grants expected
FY 2024 Cleanup Grants $95 million, with a $5 m ceiling, 65 grants expected
The closing date and time for receipt of applications is November 13, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). You must submit applications through https://www.grants.gov/. Please take a look at the Due Date and Submission Instructions in Section IV.B. and Appendix 1 for more instructions.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the availability of up to $4.6 billion of competitive grants. The grants are broken into two funding opportunities. The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) competition is designed to incentivize eligible applicants to apply for funding together as a coalition to implement GHG reduction measures regionally, across multiple municipalities, state boundaries, or even state and tribal boundaries. It includes funding for enhancing carbon removal, too.
Deadlines to Apply for Grants to Implement GHG Reduction
Under Funding Opportunity Number EPA-R-OAR-CPRGT-23-07, EPA announces approximately $4.3 billion for a general competition open to states, municipalities, air pollution control agencies, tribes, and territories for CPRG implementation grants. Tribes and territories interested in the general competition should seek the CPRG implementation grant “general competition” NOFO for more information. Applications for this implementation grants competition for tribes and territories are due on May 1, 2024.
Another $300 million for the CPRG implementation grants competition is exclusively for tribes and territories. Lead organizations for tribes and territories must submit their Priority Climate Action Plans to EPA by the deadline of April 1, 2024, in order for lead organizations and other eligible applicants under this announcement to submit grant applications to fund measures contained in those plans. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 25 to 100 grants ranging between $1 million and $25 million under this tribes and territories competition. Further detail on award tiers can be found in Table 1 of Section II.B.
Climate Change Disruptions
As the US faces the increasingly harmful impacts of climate change, communities are experiencing more deadly wildfires and storm surges, more extreme drought and water scarcity, and dangerous levels of flooding, among other impacts. The Fourth National Climate Assessment found that intense extreme weather, climate-related events, and changes in average climate conditions are expected to continue damaging infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities. If left unchecked, future climate change is expected to disrupt many areas of life further and exacerbate existing challenges to prosperity posed by aging and deteriorating infrastructure, stressed ecosystems, and long-standing inequalities.
Grants to Support Your Communities
Our country’s daunting challenge comes with an opportunity to invest in a cleaner economy that will spur innovation and economic growth while building more equitable, resilient communities. Accordingly, the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program is designed to achieve the following goals:
1. Implement ambitious measures that will achieve significant cumulative GHG reductions by 2030 and beyond;
2. Pursue measures that will achieve substantial community benefits (such as reduction of criteria air pollutants (CAPs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs));
3. Complement other funding sources to maximize these GHG reductions and community benefits; and,
4. Pursue innovative policies and programs that are replicable and can be “scaled up” across multiple jurisdictions.
What Qualifies as a GHG Reduction Measure?
Treatments and solutions that reduce GHG emissions or enhance carbon removal can qualify. Measures that enhance carbon removal increase carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere through, for example, the uptake of carbon and storage. Other measures may include EPA-approved technologies. Documentation must be provided to support the estimated GHG emission reductions for each proposed measure. Depending upon the proposed solution, you’ll need a well-conceived plan and data from a reliable environmental engineer or an environmental or sustainability consultant.
Eligible applicants for the CPRG implementation grants competitions are lead organizations for CPRG planning grants and other executive branch-level agencies, offices, and departments in states, D.C., Puerto Rico, municipalities, tribes, tribal consortia, territories, and groups of such entities applying for funding to implement measures contained in one or more applicable Priority Climate Action Plan developed with funding from a CPRG planning grant.
EPA will host overview webinars for each implementation grant competition for eligible applicants and other interested parties over the coming weeks. All sessions will be one hour long. EPA will post recordings of each webinar to the CPRG website. You can click the links below to register for one or more scheduled sessions.
|Date||Time (ET)||Event Topic||Register|
|Sept. 21||2:30 pm||General competition webinar||Register here|
|Sept. 27||2:00 pm||Tribe and territories only competition webinar||Register here|
|Oct. 3||3:00 pm||General competition webinar (repeat)||Register here|
|Oct. 5||1:00 pm||Tribe and territories only competition webinar (repeat)||Register here|